D/deaf and Hard of Hearing Advocacy

Following a comprehensive consultation of members of the D/deaf and hard of hearing (D/dHoH) community in 2015-16, and with the completion of the “Access and Equality for Deaf, deaf, and Hard of Hearing People: A Report to Stakeholders” document on May 2016, the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission invited individuals and agencies to nominate representatives to serve on a systemic advocacy advisory committee. Thirteen individuals were selected and the first meeting was scheduled to take place in December 2016.

December 14, 2016

The community stakeholder members of the D/dHoH Stakeholder Advisory Committee met on December 14, 2016. The members reflected on the needs and directions of the Deaf, deaf, and hard of hearing community, and explored the need for information sharing and forming collaborative relationships. The Committee discussed the need to empower people to know their own rights and to encourage self-advocacy. The goal is to support the rights and needs of deaf and hard of hearing people by promoting and pursuing measures that address systemic patterns of discrimination and inequity.

January 12, 2017

The members began working on the Terms of Reference or the Committee. This document would be a template for the Committee to foster respectful, and collaborative and structured systemic advocacy that could recognize the needs, interests, and capabilities of the deaf and hard of hearing community.

February 10, 2017

The Commission informed the stakeholders that representatives from the Ministries of Education, Health, Social Services, and Justice would be joining the Committee at the next meeting. The members discussed the need for priority setting and collaborative dialogue at future meetings. It was noted that text 911 services are now operational in Saskatchewan, and there is complete coverage across the province. People can find all of the information through the SaskTel website.

March 24, 2017

The Terms of Reference were further refined. The group discussed priorities for research and action. Primary discussions focused on the need for early detection and assistance, the needs of children in schools, and the transition from schools. The members discussed the need for additional Indigenous representation and for information from the Ministry of Education.